Store hit twice in a week

AN off-licence has been targeted twice in less than a week. The first incident at The Local in High Street, Shefford, happened on Wednesday night last week when there was an attempted robbery by a man wearing a devil mask and carrying a kitchen knife. The

AN off-licence has been targeted twice in less than a week.

The first incident at The Local in High Street, Shefford, happened on Wednesday night last week when there was an attempted robbery by a man wearing a devil mask and carrying a kitchen knife.

The man demanded money but the female assistant shut the till and escaped into a back room and barricaded herself in with a stepladder.

The raider fled with no cash, just two bottles of whisky, possibly down an alley opposite the off-licence.


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On Sunday night the off-licence was again targeted when a paving slab was thrown through the front window and cigarettes worth £1,500 snatched from a shelf.

In January a similar incident happened when a window was smashed but nothing was stolen.

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Off licence manager Adam Cook, who lives in Biggleswade, says his shop is a soft target especially at night as there is no roller blind to protect the windows.

"During the raid last Wednesday the woman working in the shop was very quick to get away and barricaded herself in the back room," said Mr Cook, who has been manager at the store since August.

"On Sunday night a paving slab shattered not just the glass but destroyed the frame.

"I have been saying for some time we need a roller blind here for better security. We are a soft target for anyone who has had a few drinks and walking past here late at night and wants to steal anything."

Dc Sarah Pickering, who is investigating Wednesday's incident, said the offender is about 5ft 5ins tall and of small build. He wore a devil mask, a dark hooded top and light tracksuit bottoms.

She is keen to speak to any passing motorist, pedestrian or resident who may have seen someone hanging around outside the shop before the offence, or running from it.

She also wants to hear from any business that may have sold a devil mask or anyone who is missing one from their home. Anyone who comes across a mask, or kitchen knife, discarded in the area should also contact police.

Dc Pickering said: "Despite finding herself in a very frightening position the shop assistant did exactly the right thing by staying out of the offender's way and raising the alarm as soon as possible.

"Although he escaped on foot it's possible he may have fled to a car in that area. If someone recalls someone of that description hurrying to a vehicle, we need to hear from them."

Anyone with information can contact Dc Pickering, in confidence, on 01582 473330 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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